PDP’s seven new candidates with a former minister in the mix

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has introduced seven new candidates earlier this week including one former minister.

Lyonchhen Dasho Tshering Tobgay said that it is most important to find experienced, dedicated and capable candidates to serve the people.

He said that all the seven new candidates have good work experience and have served the country well in the past. “I am very thankful to everyone of you, as you all have the expectations and hope to serve the country even better being in politics, and likewise, I hope that everyone of you would get a chance to serve Tsa-Wa-Sum better,” PM added.

Former minister Nandalal Rai

The former Information and Communications minister (2008-2013), Nandalal Rai, 64, is one among the seven candidates announced. He will run the race from Shompangkha constituency, Sarpang.

He has also served, in the rank of a Major, in the Royal Bhutan Army. Commenting on the political scenario in Bhutan, he said that all the political parties are trying their best to serve the Tsa-Wa-Sum.

However, he said, “I have found a difference in the functioning of PDP party, and this is why, I found this party more dynamic and dedicated with commitment to serve the Tsa-Wa-Sum, and PDP is the party walking the talk,” he added.

He said that PDP has lived up to its promises and has fulfilled 90 percent of its commitment, and serves with dedication to the King, Country and People.

“I resigned from DPT due to some personal reasons. I thought to resign and live a quiet life,” he said. However, the platform provided by PDP was a larger base from which he wanted to serve Tsa-Wa-Sum in better ways.

Sonam Tshering

Sonam Tshering, 50, is a candidate from Khar-Yurung, Pemagatshel and has a Masters in Education from St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada. He was a former Drungpa of Gelephu.

He was a seasoned educationist having worked in education sector for 19 years, where he served as a teacher, principal, DEO and Thromde education officer. He has also served as a Dzongrab of Bumthang for six years.

He said that he was inspired by the capable leadership of PDP and the democratic principle of PDP manifesto, especially on decentralization.

“Wherever we serve, we serve country and people, but being in politics, we go nearer to the people in our respective constituency, and this way, I feel I can serve people in better ways,” he added.

Dr Karma Drukpa

Dr Karma Drukpa, 47, will contest from Nanong-Shumar constituency, Pemagatshel. He was the former principal of YHSS. He has dedicated 27 years in the education sector.

He started his career as teacher in 1991 and he later served as a headmaster, assistant Dzongkha officer and principal of various schools across the country. He is a PhD holder and has masters in education from the University of New Brunswick, Canada.

“Anybody who is joining the politics must have an interest to do so,” he said, adding that it was his own interest to join politics so that he can bring changes in the lives of the people. Apart from interest, he said that a person should be competent enough to bring development in the country.

“I believe that PDP has seen me as a potential candidate from my constituency, which is why I decided to take part,” he added.

He also said that he has seen the good capability of PDP leadership and its candidates in the past five years.

“As a civil servant, we are confined only within the small premises but through the political party, we can serve as a whole (community), and I feel that I have chosen the right party to serve better,” he added.

Dr Tashi Tobgay

Dr Tashi Tobgay, 50, is a former registrar of Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB) and is a candidate from Bumdeling-Jamkhar constituency, Trashiyangtse.

He has served as the director of KGUMSB and as the chief of vector borne disease control program in Gelephu. He has also worked as pharmacist and chief pharmacist at JDWNRH for 10 years. He is a PhD holder from Thammasat University, Thailand and has masters in science from the University of South Australia.

He said that he joined the political party mainly to serve people, and he has chosen PDP with three reasons. He said, “Firstly, because of decentralization and empowerment of the community and the people, and second reason I would give is their dedicated work over the past five years.”

The third reason why he decided to join PDP is the leadership of the party which is known not only in Bhutan, but a worldwide, an exemplary true leader who can serve with much respect and devotion, he said.

He said that he can serve the community comprehensively and be the voice of people to bring in the change needed in his constituency.

Chandra Gurung Bdr

42-year- old Chandra Gurung Bdr is a candidate from Lhamoi Dzingkha-Tashiding constituency, Dagana. He has worked in Royal Audit Authority for 19 years and resigned as the assistant auditor general. He has a Masters in Environmental Management and Development from the Australian National University, Australia.

He said, “It is important and critical that we become a responsible citizen, and I am striving to serve Tsa-Wa-Sum at a different level, which is why, I came out to take part in politics.” He also said that PDP encourages and motivates him, where the motto of the party is power to the people.

Besides that, he said that PDP has achieved far more than it pledged, and the party is more people centric and is more oriented towards the rural voters. He said being a candidate of a political party gives one a chance to serves in three levels; parliamentary level, committee level and local constituency level.

Thereby, he said, “Considering those and seeing those three functions, I feel I can serve and contribute a lot to the people and community at those three levels.”

Mani Pradhan

Mani Pradhan, 59, an ICT expert, is a candidate from Ugyentse-Yoeseltse constituency, Samtse. He worked as a civil servant for 17 years in different capacities before resigning to start his own business.

He was the head of computer support system under the erstwhile planning commission, and he also headed the urban GIS. He has a Masters in Management Information System from George Washington University, USA.

He decided to join PDP so he can serve the people in better ways, and by utilizing all his past experience. “PDP has done so many good things in the past five years, having built good international relationship, and has a leadership quality. And those attracted me and I joined PDP,” he added.

He said being in politics gives a larger platform to deal with people at the grassroots level and to serve the King, country and people.

Sonam Jatso

51-year-old Sonam Jatso is a candidate from Gangzur-Minjey constituency, Lhuentse. He worked as civil servant and in private sector before joining politics. He has B.Com (honours) from Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi, India.

He was one of the PDP contestants in 2008 election.  He said, “I felt that if I don’t take a chance to re-contest for the up-coming election, I might regret it in the future and this is why I have decided to re-contest.”

Moreover, he said that the people from his constituency and the party leadership wanted him to re-contest. “I will always hope for the best and I will be positive, even if I lose because it can be a life changing experience, and I will be winner in many ways also,” he added.

Meanwhile, with his all round experience, he said that if he gets elected this time, he has the edge to serve the people better, given his heavy experience in the party machinery.

He served as the head of Bilateral Aid Divison, MoF. He was also the founder and CEO of Rigney Business Consultancy and he have served as the general secretary of PDP from 2009 to 2011 and from 2013 to 2018.

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